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If comments on social media and in various places on this particular website are any indication, a healthy number of people have gone back to see Joker a second time. There’s a lot to unpack between his behavior, the larger society the film takes place in and that wild ending, but apparently, there are not any Easter Eggs to be found on a second viewing because director Todd Phillips hates that kinda thing.
The director spoke to Collider during the press tour for the film and revealed he’s not a fan of sliding in obscure references or background details for a second viewing. It’s just not his taste. You can check out a portion of his quote below…
“I don’t do Easter eggs. Any Easter eggs anybody finds is a mistake. I don’t understand.”
During the same interview, Todd Phillips later went on to say if anyone does find anything, it’s “the art department sneaking something in” before seemingly trolling everyone by claiming there’s a Wonder Woman Easter Egg no one has found. You can take the comedy director out of the genre, but even dark subject matter doesn’t change his basic trolling nature. Or maybe his no Easter Eggs comment itself was the troll? I don't think so, but also, I'll be pissed if this was all an elaborate goof. I don't think so though.
The fact that there aren’t any Easter Eggs in Joker is actually quite interesting given how standard the practice has become. Here at CinemaBlend, we churn out articles about deep cut references, background visual clues and obscure character appearances in comic book movies on a regular basis to the point where we often assign a writer or editor to take notes on that kinda thing when they go to their screenings. Hell, we even do them for theme park rides.
I typically think about it like an animated movie. You know how most cartoons aimed at children have the basic plot and the clear and direct jokes but then also subtle, sometimes raunchier jokes aimed toward adults? Well, that same basic process is going on in most comic book movies, except it’s not children vs adults, it’s casual movie fans and hardcore comic book readers. The goal is often to find enough subtle nods to those more invested viewers to make them feel heard. It’s also a way for the director to ask for trust. I’m a big enough fan of the material to include (obscure reference).
As for Joker itself, the movie is still rolling at the box office. After a big opening weekend, it pulled in another $50M+ at the domestic box office this weekend, and is well over $500M worldwide. We’ve all gotten desensitized to these huge numbers thanks to Avengers: Endgame and other mega comic book wins. The figures themselves aren’t as impressive as they once were, but we still shouldn’t lose sight of how impressive it is for a bold and artsy movie about mental health to be doing the business it is. It might be a long time before we see something like this again.
Check back with CinemaBlend the next time a major comic book film is released, and there’s a good chance we’ll have a full write-up for you on all the Easter Eggs in that one, provided it’s not directed by Todd Philips.